Trump’s trade tweet leaves out the big one – the Petro-Yuan

Although apparently random and etiquette busting, Trump’s tweets are carefully calculated to evoke particular responses. One message that is notably absent from all the bluster about Chinese trade is any discussion of China trading oil in Yuan. While the mainstream press argues that this is because it does not matter, a long term reading of the background indicates that it might.

The power of the dollar in propping up the US empire has been a recurrent story on The Generator since its inception in 2005. From Robert Newman’s History of Oil in 2005 to last month’s Petro-Yuan article in Modern Diplomacy the Generator has reported regularly on the US tendency to intervene militarily whenever the hegemony of the US dollar is threatened.

For over a year, a range of alternative press has been speculating on the US reaction of the Chinese announcement of its intention to trade oil in Yuan  but it is rare for the mainstream press to include this in its discussion of the basis of the US trade war. It is completely absent from Trump’s tweets.

The mainstream press insists that this is mere fantasy. In April, shortly after China began trading oil in Yuan, Forbes ran a long article titled Why the Petro-Dollar is a myth and the Petro-Yuan mere fantasy that thoroughly debunks the notion of oil trading being the basis of US dollar hegemony and, by implication, the notion of a Petro-Yuan being a threat to a non-existent Petro-Dollar. The debunking relies on the argument that the US dollar is the preferred currency because of the US pre-eminence as a trading nation and the world’s largest economy,

It is not only the conspiracy theorists and the alternative media pointing out that these two pillars of US global dominance may not be reliable in the long term. The trade war between China and the US is news precisely because China is threatening to topple the US from the top perch and the repercussions will be many and various. Who knows, some of those tired old conspiracy theories might even turn out to be relevant.

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